Orange County, Calif., Judge Recommends Deported Man Be Allowed to Stay in U.S. To Care for HIV-Positive Boy
July 23, 2003
An Orange County, Calif., judge on Monday recommended that an illegal immigrant from Mexico who was deported last month be allowed to return to the United States to care for his daughter and for an 11-year-old HIV-positive boy, the Los Angeles Times reports. Orange County Juvenile Court Judge Gary Bischoff told immigration officials that Hermenegildo Ortega should be allowed to stay in the United States to care for the children, for whom he had cared until he was deported in June; following his deportation, the children were sent to Orangewood Children's Home, a group foster home. After the death of Carolina Barajas, the children's mother with whom Ortega had a common-law marriage, Ortega became the boy's legal guardian and lived in the United States illegally until being deported. Ortega said that he did not want to take the children back to Mexico because access to HIV treatment and care there is limited. Mexican Consul Luis Miguel Ortiz Haro said that he plans to use Bischoff's recommendation to secure humanitarian parole for Ortega, a designation that would enable Ortega to stay in the country so that the boy can continue to receive HIV treatment in the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Customs and Border Protection will decide if Ortega can remain in the United States, the Times reports. A department spokesperson could not be reached for comment on Monday, according to the Times. The juvenile court on Aug. 6 will decide whether to allow Ortega to retain legal custody of the boy (Mena, Los Angeles Times, 7/22).
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